Several Ohio AAU teams were traveling about the country this past
weekend, and putting in quality work in the midst of their visits.
All-Ohio Red and King James Shooting Stars were performing in the second
leg of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in Houston, Texas while
many others were taking part in the Adidas May Classic in Bloomington,
Several Ohio AAU teams were traveling about the country this past weekend, and putting in quality work in the midst of their visits. All-Ohio Red and King James Shooting Stars were performing in the second leg of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in Houston, Texas while many others were taking part in the Adidas May Classic in Bloomington, Indiana.
NEYBL: Session 2
There are four divisions including 42 Nike sponsored teams in the Elite Youth Basketball League vying for spots in the Peach Jam this July. The final leg will take place in Los Angeles on May 29-31. The collection of prep talent among the league is second to nowhere in the states.
“This league is the real deal,” stated hoop devotee Rob Taylor. All-Ohio came into the weekend (4-1) in league play after its work at the Boo Williams in early April, while King James arrived at (1-4). AOR sat atop Division B along with Team Takeover with identical records. Though, Houston quickly changed a lot. All-Ohio now finds itself (5-4) after a disappointing (1-3) weekend in the Lonestar State dropping them to 4th place.
Red had to come right out of the gate against a talented Seattle Rotary (3-6) team led by one of the best guard prospects in the country in Tony Wroten. The elite guard led the Seattle-based team to a (77-66) victory with a game-high 29 points
Gary Bell Jr., a Gonzaga commit, added eight points.
All-Ohio, as usual, was led by its backcourt of Stevie Taylor (20 points) and Trey Burke (19 points) along with four-man George Fant with 19 counters.
Red got by the Carolina Ravens on Saturday morning (83-77) to even its mark at 1-1 on the weekend. Burke led with 22 points, followed by Taylor with 20, new addition Tommie McCune (6’7/Saginaw, Michigan) with 13, Teays Valley’s Nate Anderson with 10, and Cincinnati LaSalle’s Brandon “Flight” Neel adding nine.
In their first match up of the spring, All-Ohio Red and King James Shooting Stars met in showdown for Ohio Nike supremacy. On this day, King James got the better of Red thanks in large part to the sensational play of Jakarr Sampson (6’8/2011) out of Akron SVSM.
“Our bigs were just too slow for him,” said All-Ohio Red boss Benji Burke.
Sampson erupted for 18 points, but it’s his ability to play on the wing, handle the basketball, and immense upside that is making scouts drool.
“He is a high major player,” Burke insisted. “He has mid-range game and is very athletic. He needs to work on his shot, but can knock it down from 12-feet. The kid has big time bounce.”
Markus Crider (Huber Heights Wayne) and Darius Carter (Akron Firestone) helped to make life miserable for All Ohio’s front line.
In defeat, Burke scored a game-high 25 points and Taylor notched 17.
In the game prior, King James snuck by a talented Team Takeover team, 52-50. Carter led the way with 10, followed by Sampson with nine and Crider adding eight.
Takeover was paced by Mikael Hopkins and James Robinson with 11 a piece, and Duke-bound Michael Gbinije with 10.
The same Team Takeover defeated All-Ohio Red in its last game of the weekend.
“We got killed on the inside,” Burke stated. “They out rebounded us, 39-19.”
For All-Ohio, the results weren’t exactly as expected, but not all was lost.
“The negative is it’s too hard to win without having your nucleus,” Burke emphasized. “We always have a player missing. On the positive side, our backcourt is one of the best nationally and we are still in 4th place in our pool.”
Elijah Macon (6’8/2012) of Columbus Marion Franklin was absent from the weekend’s festivities.
King James came into the weekend with just one triumph, but left with a (4-5) mark after a successful 3-1 weekend in Houston. More importantly, King James now holds bragging rights in the state at least for another week.
King James lost to The Family by four points in its first game. They also defeated Spiece Indy Heat (51-50) after trailing by 15 points. Indy Heat features Kentucky commit Marquis Teague.
King James also got quality play from Shonn Miller (6’5/2011) of Cleveland St. Ignatius and Brock Ammons (6’7/2011) of Findlay. They were without Zach Price (6’9/2011) for the weekend.
The final leg will take place in Los Angeles with All-Ohio Red and King James both still in contention for a spot in the coveted Peach Jam this July. In order to qualify for the South Carolina-based tournament, a team has to finish in the top five of its respective division. That means 20 teams will get automatic bids and then four more at-large bids will be given by the committee.
All-Ohio is currently alone in 4th place looking up at Team Takeover, Each 1 Teach 1, and the Family, while King James is in a three-way tie for fifth with Spiece and Team Texas. All-Ohio will meet The Family, Each 1 Teach 1, Spiece, Team Texas, and the Arizona Stars on the west coast.
ADIDAS MAY CLASSIC
At the Adidas May Classic, in Bloomington (IN), several Buckeye state teams made the trip.
17U: SYF Players over Eric Gordon Fastbreak
16U: Indiana Elite Team Indiana 74 Eric Gordon Central Stars 51
15U: Meanstreets 63 Eric Gordon All-Star 50
14U: Ohio Basketball Club 74 Meanstreets 61
In the 17-and-under sector, Club Ohio made the Elite 8 which was the best finish by an Ohio squad. However, the SYF Players won the tournament and got stellar player from Huber Heights guard Travis Trice Jr. The Indiana-based team was on the brink of elimination against D3 Heat when Trice cashed in two freebies to seal the victory. High major 2012 prospect Gary Harris led D3 with 36 points in the contest.
One upset of note was Team Southern handing Indiana Elite a 68-64 loss in tournament play. Elite, led by several high major prospects including Cody Zeller, was a favorite to bring home the bacon.
Club Ohio won its pool, and then defeated Peoria Irish and Spiece Select before losing to Eric Gordon Fastbreak in the round of eight.
They bounced back nicely after a rough weekend in Atlanta two weekends ago.
Club Ohio has a trio of Buckeye state sleepers in Semaj Christon (6’2/2011) of Cincinnati Winton Woods, Jared Bryant (6’8/2011) of Roger Bacon, and Jalen Billups (6’6/2011) of Cincinnati Shroder.
Another kid to keep an eye on is Dennis Thomas (Cincinnati Winton Woods).
The Cincinnati Royals also won its pool earning them a 1st round bye. The Royals lay victim to 43 Hoops in the 2nd round of Gold play. The Royals feature Ryan Fleming (6’3/2011) of Cincinnati LaSalle and Paul Byrd (6’1/2011) of Roger Bacon, but perhaps their best player is Joel Scudder from South Dearborn (IN).
The Shining Star Sports- Blue won its pool, but was bounced in the 1st round of tournament action by 43 Hoops.
Another Cincinnati-based team, the Queen City Prophets won its pool behind the marvelous play of rising junior Aaron Thomas (6’4/2011). Thomas has exploded this spring, and in doing so, business has picked of for the senior-to-be wing forward.
Thomas, who can be reckless at times, gets the job done by continuing to attack. Scouts love the fire Thomas plays with and his ability to constantly get to the tin with aggressiveness.
QCP, despite Thomas’ efforts, fell in the opening round to Indiana Elite- Central.
The Ohio Gators were also pool winners before falling to an outstanding St. Louis Gameface outfit led by B.J. Young and Danteil Daniels.
The Gators got 23 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks from Gary Cooper (6’8/2011) of Monroe (MI) in the loss to Gameface. Mason Roth (5’11/2011) of McComb added 14 points, six assists, and three triples, while Tony Mays (6’5/2012) of Toledo CC added 13 points and six rebounds, and Lonacy Utley (6’5/2011) of Toledo Libbey notched eight points and 11 rebounds.
Cooper is a prospect to watch closely. He averaged 18 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks for the weekend.
Utley, Roth, Mays, and Maurice Taylor (6’4/2011) of Toledo Libbey were all very good through the Gators three contests. In the Silver Bracket, the Dayton Nets were crowned champions. They defeated MAC Ohio in the Elite 8 and later disposed of the Caps All-Stars in the finals. It was a very productive weekend for the Nets, who were in need of good session.
By the way, there was an interesting new face playing for the Nets. His name is Geron Johnson. Yes, Dayton Dunbar’s Geron Johnson. The 6-foot-3 2010 high major prospect was gracing Indiana with his presence this past weekend and helping the Nets to the Silver title.
“I walked into the gym, and saw the Nets were trailing so I moved down to the next court,” said ESPN’s John Stovall. “A little while later I made my way back down to that court and there was a crowd of people circled around the court. The Nets have some decent players, but no one who would draw this much attention. I was thinking what is going on here. The next thing I know I see a kid flying to the hoop for a monster jam, and I realized it was Geron doing what he does.”
Johnson, who will have to go the JUCO route, is down to four schools in Vincennes (IN), Pensacola (FL), Chipola (FL), and Miami Dade (FL).
Other notable players in the 17U division:
Steve Bridgeman (6’5/2011) of Lancaster- MAC Ohio
Tyler Kelly (6’1/2011) of Pickerington North- Mustang Ballers
The 16U Gold Bracket was won by Indiana Elite Team Indiana, which features Medina’s Kenny Kaminski.
Kaminski, a 6-foot-7 wing forward, has offers from Indiana, Michigan State, and Ohio State. The 2012 prospect is known for his ability to shoot the basketball, but according to several eye’s for talent he is starting to do the little things around the basket.
“He played well, but was a little streaky,” said Kaminski’s father. “They got the job done. Most people thought he really defended the guards well.”
Kaminski is blessed to be playing with one of the top prospects in the country in D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera who scored a game-high 22 points in a 74-51 championship victory over the Eric Gordon Central Stars. Smith-Rivera along with Kaminski, Hanner Perea and Jermaine Myers form a stellar line up. Several Ohio teams made the Gold Bracket session including All-Ohio Red, All-Ohio Gold, All-Ohio Green, Columbus Aces, All-Ohio Purple, and the Mustang Ballers. Red advanced to the Elite 8 which was the best Ohio finish.
All-Ohio Red won its pool and then proceeded to rip through the Columbus Mustang Ballers before meeting up with a St. Louis Gateway team which beat them in Milwaukee back in April. However, it was Red doing the winning this time advancing to the round of eight setting up a rematch with the Eric Gordon Central Stars.
Red lost to the Central Stars in the quarter finals of the Pitt JamFest and did so once again this weekend.
At any rate, Waverly’s Jake Kretzer (6’7/2012) continues to impress with his ability to knock down the triple. He is certainly a kid to keep a close watch.
According Stovall, Deontae Hawkins (6’7/2012) of Dayton Dunbar played well after arriving late along with high school teammate Gary Akbar. Guard Myles Hamilton (6’1/2012) and Cam Wilson (6’0/2012) also showed some good signs at times along with Dwayne Stafford (6’5/2012) of Cincinnati Taft.
All-Ohio Gold won its pool and earned a 1st round bye. In the 2nd round, they fell to Full Package- Reuter. After leading 32-23 at the break, Full Package was able to overcome the deficit and hold on like a cat on a screen door for a 58-54 triumph.
Gold got solid play from Matt Bingaya (6’2/2012) of Delaware Hayes, Ty O’Connor (6’3/2012) of Lima CC, Matt Kurelic (5’11/2012) of Worthington Christian, and Matt Rhodes (6’5/2012) of Westerville North.
All-Ohio Purple, who many believe is still the best 16U team in the state, rolled through pool but made a shocking 1st round exit in tournament action with a loss to Air Indiana Uptempo.
Purple was led by Adolphus Washington (6’6/2012) of Cincinnati Taft and Josh Lemons (5’11/2012) of Cincinnati LaSalle.
All-Ohio Green was another pool winner, and also lost in the 1st round to TSI Red.
The Columbus Aces may be the surprise team of the Gold group as they captured its pool, earned a bye, and then fell to Indiana Elite One in the 2nd round. It was all Scarlet and Gray in the 16-and-under Silver Bracket finals with All-Ohio Black defeating the Dayton Nets.
All-Ohio Black came out slow in its opening pool play game, which put them out of Gold Bracket contention.
“We lost to Spiece Indy Heat- Burton, who we had beat by 15 at the Pitt JamFest,” AOB head man Anthony Lavender noted. “We had that jet lag syndrome, and weren’t prepared. We breezed through the rest of the tourney with the exception of any overtime game against a team from Wisconsin.”
Black got solid play from Lima Senior’s Tyler White (6’2/2012), who averaged nearly 18 points per game for the weekend. Other solid weekends were seen from Blake Yates (6’3/2012) of Lucasville Valley, Devon Scott (6’8/2012) of Columbus Northland, Carter Smith (5’9/2012) of Upper Arlington, and Taivon Thomas (6’5/2012) of Westerville North.
Also contributing was R.J. Raglin (6’2/2012) of Reynoldsburg and Khalid King (6’3/2012) of Columbus Brookhaven.
“At this point, we aren’t consistent enough,” Lavender mentioned. “We are something like (23-8) this spring, but sometimes we play with a lack of urgency. I think that will come as we play more. We are a real good team when we are playing hard and hard to beat.”
Lavender noted that Scott, who already has an offer from James Madison is drawing interest from Xavier and business is starting to pick up for White.
Ke’Chaun Lewis (6’3/2012) of Columbus Northland was missing this weekend for Black.
Black also defeated fellow Ohio team, Club Ohio, in the Elite 8 of the Silver session.
The 15-and-under Gold Bracket was taken by Meanstreets, who got by the Eric Gordon All-Stars, 63-50. Ironically, the EG All-Stars played in all three Gold Bracket championships losing them all. Team Toledo continues to prove its one of Ohio’s best making a run to the Final Four. The Toledo-based team beat the Ohio Basketball Club in round one of tourney play and eventually lost to the Eric Gordon All-Stars.
Team Toledo won its pool then defeated OBC, Spiece West, and SW Illinois Jets before falling to Eric Gordon in the Final Four.
Team Toledo is an undersized club playing without stars Jordan Lauf (6’1/2013) of Napoleon and Jackson Lamb (6’4/2013) of Bedford (MI), but continues to play solid as a team in hammer the odds.
“This team is very good,” Stovall said. “They play really well together. I like this team a lot.”
This a total team, so we would be remiss to not mention several of their top performers. Austin Gardner (Toledo St. John’s), Dillon Miller (Anthony Wayne), Dominique King, Deonte Cole (Toledo CC), Dishone Kizer, Tony Kynard (Toledo Rogers), Keith Towbridge, and Clemmye Owens (Toledo Rogers) all had contributed in some way according to Stovall.
Gardner dropped 25 points against the SW Illinois Jets in a 76-70 Elite 8 victory. All-Ohio Red made the Elite 8 before losing to the Indiana Elite Stars.
Red is a team where every player has his moments, and has already won a few tournaments.
“I thought Nigel (Hayes) and Marc (Loving) played really well,” Stovall noted. “The light is starting to come on for Marc, so look out. Keon Johnson, Jaaron Simmons, Cha-Cha (Tucker), and Taco (Charlton) all had their moments.”
TNBA also won its pool, but lost to the BA Hoyas in the opening round.
Despite finishing 3rd in its pool and losing in the 1st round of Gold Bracket play, the Ohio Basketball Club’s Demonte Flannigan (6’8/2013) is proving to be one of the best prospects in the state and catching the attention of many national onlookers.
Kash Blackwell (6’3/2013) of Shaker Heights also performed admirably for OBC. In Silver action, Team Jordan came out victorious with a win over the Columbus Predators. Team Jordan also captured the King James Shooting Stars Classic Silver Bracket title.
We certainly feel for Team Jordan, who has finished 2nd in its pool at the King James Shooting Stars Classic and the Adidas May Classic. What is more, the teams they lost to were the eventual Gold Bracket winner (Texas Titans and Meanstreets). Meanstreets captured the May Classic with a 63-50 win over the Eric Gordon All-Stars.
Team Jordan features Dontonio Wingfield Jr. (6’4/2013) of Lockland, Deondray Martin (6’3/2013) of Lima Senior, and Jake Phillis (5’10/2013) of Zanesville Rosecrans, and should still be considered as one of the best young teams in Ohio.
Another high level Ohio prospect performing for an out-of-state team is Bowling Green’s Vitto Brown (6’7/2013). According to Rivals, Brown has heard from Michigan State and Xavier. Brown, who plays for Spiece Indy Heat, should grow another inch or two if you look at his shoe size. He is a very intriguing prospect.
Brown’s Indy Heat team lost in the quarter finals to Meanstreets.
Finally, in 14U competition, the Ohio Basketball Club made it two-for-two capturing last weekend’s Adidas May Junior Classic championship and then doing it again this weekend at the big boy event. We think it is safe to say they are the best 14U unit in the state.
OBC rolled to a 74-61 title game triumph of Meanstreets. With Tyler Ulis (Lima Shawnee) in Houston, Texas for the 2nd annual John Lucas Middle School Camp, OBC was in need of players to step up and assume the point guard duties. Javon Bess (Gahanna, Ohio), Bryant McIntosh, and Danny Hummer all handled the duties and were effective.
“Bryant McIntosh (New Castle, Indiana) had a great weekend shooting the ball as well and scored double digits in every contest,” said OBC boss Myron Bess. ”Charles ‘Trey’ Grundy (Lexington, Kentucky) had a huge weekend, and was unstoppable going to basket and shooting the three-ball. Jae’Sean Tate (Pickerington, Ohio) continues to dominate the boards and score from the low and high posts. Jordan Green (Lexington, Kentucky) is a scoring threat, but this weekend Jordan grabbed rebound after rebound.”
“In the championship game, Trey Grundy went on a scoring tirade,” Bess continued. “Tate seemed to grab every rebound. With Trey Grundy and Jordan Green in foul trouble, Angelo Cugini (Akron, Ohio), Sean Sellers and Antonio Gay (Pickerington, Ohio) played huge roles in the game. In the second half, we had a 20-point lead disappear and Meastreets fought its way back to within eight points. Danny Hummer (Upper Arlington) stepped up huge hitting several three-pointers to extend the lead and put the game out of reach.”
OBC’s closest game of the weekend was a 69-57 win over Indiana Elite (2015) in the semis.